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Luxury All-Inclusive Mexico Resorts: Sphera Travel’s Firsthand Experience at Atelier Playa Mujeres and Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

At Sphera Travel, the essence of a perfect vacation lies in the details. As the owner and lead travel designer, I take great pride in visiting resorts worldwide to ensure we provide you with the most authentic and up-to-date information.

This dedication to firsthand experience allows us to craft luxury, all-inclusive Mexico itineraries that exceed your expectations. Recently, I had the pleasure of visiting two exceptional adults-only resorts in Mexico: Atelier Playa Mujeres, north of Cancun, and Valentin Imperial Maya, near Playa del Carmen. These visits were inspiring, and I am thrilled to share my experiences.

Come along as I explore what I loved, what was missing about each property, the types of trips these resorts are best suited for, how to get there, and what makes each resort unique. Whether planning a romantic getaway, a milestone celebration, or a group trip with friends, our insights will help you choose the perfect destination for your next luxury all-inclusive Mexico escape.

Let’s explore the luxurious worlds of Atelier Playa Mujeres and Valentin Imperial Maya, uncovering all the details you need to plan an unforgettable luxury all-inclusive Mexico vacation.

Luxury All-Inclusive Mexico Resorts

Map of the Cancun area created by Sphera Travel.  Map shows Atelier Playa Mujeres Luxury All-Inclusive Mexico Resort, Cancun Airport, and Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya resort.

Atelier Playa Mujeres: A Modern Boho Chic Retreat

Luxury all-inclusive Mexico resort, Atelier Playa Mujeres.

Atelier: True to Its Name The name “Atelier” means workshop in French, and the resort lives up to its name with a variety of engaging activity offerings:

  • The Artist: In the resort’s gallery, guests can unlock their creative potential every Monday at 7:00 p.m. under the guidance of a renowned Mexican artist.
  • Oleo Workshop: Discover the freedom of painting with no tools but your hands every Wednesday at 4:00 pm in the Gallery.
  • Flower Art: Create beautiful art using delicate flowers every Monday at 4:00 pm in the Gallery.
  • Liquid Soul of Mexico: At La Cantina, every Sunday at 7:00 p.m., learn to craft cocktails with emblematic Mexican liquors like Aguardiente.
  • Clay Workshop: Handcraft unique artworks in the world’s most beautiful studio every Saturday at 4:00 pm in the Gallery.

Overview of the Resort

ATELIER Playa Mujeres is a 5-star all-inclusive resort for adults, offering a fantastic concept inspired by Mexican art and design. Its innovative atmosphere blends harmoniously with the mesmerizing natural landscape of Playa Mujeres, set between the crystalline waters of the Caribbean and a magnificent golf course. This is a perfect example of a luxury, all-inclusive Mexico resort.


ATELIER Playa Mujeres, created as an authentic masterpiece by Mexican natives, will take guests into a new luxury, all-inclusive Mexico experience where art and nature are combined to create a new world of relaxation. The 593 suites feature a dazzling design with marble and wood accents, one-of-a-kind amenities, and avant-garde-style furniture, complemented by jaw-dropping views of the golf course and the Caribbean Sea.

Location and Arrival

Atelier Playa Mujeres is conveniently located just north of Cancun, approximately 30 minutes from Cancun International Airport. Upon landing, we will arrange a private transfer for you to ensure a seamless and swift journey to the resort. This private service means no waiting for other guests and no unnecessary stops along the way, allowing you to start your luxury all-inclusive Mexico vacation sooner.

First Impressions and Design

As you arrive at Atelier Playa Mujeres, you are greeted by a modern boho chic vibe immediately setting your stay’s tone. The resort is adorned with beautiful wooden furniture, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. One aspect to consider is that Atelier is designed with the buildings perpendicular to the beach. While this layout does not provide the immediate breathtaking ocean view from the lobby that some travelers may prefer, it is a thoughtful design choice that reflects the high cost of beachfront real estate. However, this means it’s a bit of a walk to the beach from the front of the property.

Welcome Experience

Upon our arrival at Atelier Playa Mujeres, we were welcomed with cold cloths and a refreshing welcome drink, a delightful start to our stay. The check-in process was smooth and efficient, setting the stage for the exceptional service we were about to experience. Depending on your arrival time, your room may not be ready immediately.

Don’t worry; an all-inclusive resort like Atelier will check you in and allow you to use the property even if your room isn’t ready. We recommend packing your bathing suit and sunscreen in your carry-on bag. After checking in, you can change, enjoy a nice lunch, and cool off in the pools or the beach.


We always recommend upgrading to club levels at an all-inclusive resort. At Atelier, this is called Inspira. Here are some of the benefits—contact us to learn more.

One of our favorite benefits is the not-to-be-missed INSPIRA Rooftop Pool®, which offers exclusive daytime access to the infinity pool at El Cielo Sky Bar on the fifth floor of ATELIER Playa Mujeres, which has a spectacular ocean view.

INSPIRA Suites at Atelier Playa Mujeres:

  • Exclusive Sense of Arrival: Personalized check-in and check-out with a welcome cocktail and refreshing towels
  • Deluxe Amenities and Services: Upgraded Rolling Bar with premium spirits, Dreamy Pillows® menu, and In-Suite Scent® variety
  • Unique On-Site Services: INSPIRA Lounge® for gourmet snacks and top-shelf beverages, INSPIRA Beach® with exclusive towel service, and the INSPIRA Rooftop Pool® with stunning ocean views
  • Complimentary High-End Services: Free Hydrotherapy Session at NUUP Spa®, two rounds of golf for stays of 7 nights or more, and access to the MERA Business Lounge at Cancun International Airport

Dining Experiences

Dining at Atelier Playa Mujeres is a culinary delight. One of the highlights is María Dolores, their fine dining restaurant. If you are in an INSPIRA suite, you can dine there one evening complimentary. Otherwise, it is charged à la carte. Restaurants require reservations, which can be made easily at kiosks around the resort.

  • María Dolores: A New Concept of Luxury Culinary Art: María Dolores, led by celebrity chef Edgar Nuñez, offers seasonal cuisine that evokes the most exquisite feelings of Mexican gastronomy. With the motto of transmitting an authentic love for Mexico, María Dolores provides a new appreciation of Mexican cuisine evolution and the secrets of its ancestral techniques. This sophisticated haute cuisine concept blends flavors and stories from every corner of Mexico, offering a delight to the spirit.

During my three-night stay, I enjoyed several fantastic dining experiences:

  • Mercado 19: This Mexican restaurant offers traditional dishes like tamales and a fabulous two-foot-long tray of various dips and sauces. The flavors were authentic and delicious.
  • Cilento is an Italian restaurant where I savored a fantastic linguini with clam sauce. The ambiance and the food made for a memorable meal.
  • Los Abrazos: The steakhouse features a wonderful salad bar with bread, various salads, and amazing cheeses. I highly recommend the French onion soup and their onion rolls were to die for.

Beach Experience

Due to its location, the beach at Atelier is somewhat protected by Isla Mujeres. This means you could have a lesser chance of having a lot of sargassum (seaweed) on the beach and in the water. If you love long walks on the beach, this resort is perfect! You can walk miles in each direction, enjoying the pristine shoreline and gentle waves. This adds another layer of appeal to the already luxurious, all-inclusive Mexico experience.

Room Service

Atelier offers 24-hour room service, and its menus are among the best we’ve seen at any resort. I was particularly impressed with my breakfast order of Huevos Rancheros and Mimosas. The standout was when ordering mimosas; they brought a bottle of sparkling wine and a pitcher of orange juice. This generous perk was likely due to our INSPIRA room status, adding an extra luxury all-inclusive Mexico touch to our stay.

Closing Thoughts

These are just some highlights of this amazing 5-star adults-only all-inclusive resort. We could write a book and still not cover everything. It’s best to contact us to discuss your preferences and help determine the best resort for your stay. Let us help you craft the perfect luxury all-inclusive Mexico getaway to Atelier Playa Mujeres.

Valentin Imperial Maya: An Elegant Spanish-Style Hacienda Experience

Luxury All-Inclusive Mexico Resort - Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

Overview of the Resort

The adults-only Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya is an award-winning 5-star, all-inclusive luxury Mexico resort designed in the style of an elegant Spanish hacienda nestled amid sumptuous tropical gardens. This resort pays attention to the small details distinguishing between a simple trip and the vacation of your dreams. With one of the most breathtaking swimming pools in Riviera Maya and luxurious accommodations in various Suites and Junior Suites categories, it offers a truly indulgent luxury all-inclusive Mexico experience.

The resort features two daytime restaurants, a buffet, and two food trucks at the main pool for snacks. Guests can also enjoy unlimited dinners at seven à la carte restaurants with no reservations required, premium Wi-Fi, 11 bars, 24-hour room service, daily activities, nightly entertainment, and a spectacular half-mile-long secluded white sand beach.

Location and Arrival

Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, approximately 30 minutes from Cancun International Airport. We will arrange a private transfer for you, ensuring a smooth and comfortable journey to the resort.

First Impressions and Design

The elegant architecture and lush tropical gardens create immediate tranquility and luxury upon arrival. The resort’s design, reminiscent of a traditional Spanish hacienda, combined with stunning tile work, evokes the feeling of being transported to Spain. One of the highlights is Plaza España, a square surrounded by restaurants and featuring live evening music. We love how it creates a hub of the resort, just like the plazas or squares in Europe, fostering a sense of community among guests.

Welcome Experience

Though I only stayed at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya for one night, it provided an excellent overview of the property and a true sense of the resort’s vibe. Upon arrival, I was greeted warmly and given a tour of the property by Maria, which helped me appreciate the soul and charm of the resort. Since our room was not ready, we took advantage of this time to explore the resort. We went on a resort tour and enjoyed a wonderful lunch before entering our room. This allowed us ample time to enjoy the beautiful pool for a few hours before the evening festivities began. The attention to detail and the warm hospitality left a lasting impression.


The accommodations at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya are both luxurious and spacious, with various Suites and Junior Suites to choose from. Each room has elegant décor and modern amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Here are some of the room categories available:

  • Emerald Junior Suites: Our first choice, located closest to the beach, these suites offer stunning ocean views and easy access to the beach.
  • Golden Junior Suites: We stayed in a Golden Junior Suite, conveniently located about a 6-minute walk to the front of the resort, where most bars and restaurants are. The spacious and well-appointed suite offered a perfect blend of luxury and comfort.

For added convenience, golf carts can take you to various places across the property.

Valentin Privé: Elevated Luxury: For those seeking an even more luxurious all-inclusive Mexico experience, the Valentin Privé package offers additional services and benefits, including:

  • Private check-in and checkout at Valentin Privé Lounge
  • Pre-arrival concierge services
  • Early check-in and late checkout (subject to availability)
  • Fruit platter & petits fours
  • In-room fresh flowers
  • Bottle of sparkling wine upon arrival
  • Tailor-made minibar with premium drinks
  • Valentin beach bag
  • Restaurant reservations through Valentin Privé Concierge
  • Reserved Bali beds at the pool or beach
  • Lobster included at any of the à la carte restaurants
  • Exclusive access to Valentin Privé Lounge with premium Wi-Fi, ultra-premium bar service, and light snacks

Dining Experiences

Dining at Valentin Imperial Maya is a culinary delight, with a variety of options to satisfy every palate:

  • Tierra: We had lunch at Tierra, which is close to the ocean. I had the best fresh shrimp quesadilla, filled with many veggies. The vibrant flavors and the ocean setting made the experience even more enjoyable.
  • L’Alsace: For dinner, we enjoyed a meal at L’Alsace, a bi-level French restaurant. The mushroom escargot appetizer was amazing and unique, setting it apart from typical escargot dishes. The restaurant’s atmosphere, combined with the exquisite flavors, made for a memorable dining experience.

Dining Dress Code

Please note that Valentin Imperial has strict dress codes in most of their restaurants. For their “Night Elegant” dress code:

Ladies: Dresses, blouses, skirts, dress jeans (not torn nor ragged), capri pants, elegant Bermudas, dress shoes, and elegant sandals.

Beachwear, sportswear, t-shirts, short shorts, tennis shoes, or beach sandals are not allowed.

Gentlemen: Long pants only (includes elegant jeans, not torn nor ragged), shirt with collar and long or short sleeves (polo shirts and classic shirts with a collar and sleeves are acceptable), and elegant shoes.

Beachwear, sportswear, 3/4 pants, Bermudas, t-shirts, tennis shoes, tank tops, or sandals are not allowed.

We spoke with some guests who were unaware of these dress codes and were turned away from the restaurants, so be sure to pack accordingly for a seamless dining experience.

Other dining options at the resort include:

  • Daytime Restaurants and Snacks: Enjoy two daytime restaurants, a buffet, and two food trucks by the main pool for snacks.
  • À la Carte Restaurants: Seven à la carte restaurants offer unlimited dining without reservations. The cuisine ranges from international favorites to exquisite local dishes, ensuring every meal is a memorable luxury all-inclusive Mexico experience.
  • Bars: With 11 bars throughout the resort, guests can enjoy various beverages and cocktails in different settings.
  • Don Miguel: Don Miguel, the hotel bar a few steps from the reception, is the perfect place to enjoy an unforgettable evening. Its warm and welcoming atmosphere makes it the ideal meeting point for any occasion, whether for a romantic dinner, a special celebration, or an aperitif with friends. The fine cocktails offered by the bar are its specialty, made with the finest ingredients and served by expert mixologists. We enjoyed a unique martini poured over dry ice—a memorable experience!

Activities and Entertainment

The resort offers daily activities and nightly entertainment to keep guests engaged and entertained. Whether you’re lounging by the pool, participating in water sports, or enjoying live music at Plaza España, there’s always something to do.

Beach Experience

The beach at Valentin is a beautiful, serene spot for relaxation and enjoyment within the luxurious, all-inclusive Mexico setting. While trees provide a natural screen from most of the resort, they contribute to the tranquil atmosphere. One section of the beach is a protected nature area, offering a unique glimpse into the local ecosystem. Though shorter than Atelier, The walkable beach area is still perfect for leisurely strolls. Occasionally, the beach may experience varying amounts of sargassum depending on the winds, but this natural phenomenon is unpredictable and can change daily. This site can show you the status of the sargassum in the Cancun and Riviera Maya areas. We encourage you to embrace the natural beauty and enjoy the beach as part of your overall resort experience.

Closing Thoughts

Though my stay at Valentin Imperial Maya was brief, it was enough to experience its exceptional ambiance, luxurious amenities, and warm hospitality. As Marie Bolvin aptly described, this elegant 5-star adults-only all-inclusive resort truly has a soul. Whether planning a romantic escape, a celebratory trip, or a relaxing getaway, Valentin Imperial Maya promises an unforgettable luxury all-inclusive Mexico experience.

These are just some highlights of this beautiful resort. Contact us for more personalized recommendations and to determine the best resort for your stay. Let us help you craft the perfect luxury all-inclusive Mexico getaway to Valentin Imperial Maya.

Discovering Luxury Small-Group Travel Experiences at Atelier Playa Mujeres and Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

Our recent visits to Atelier Playa Mujeres and Valentin Imperial Maya have showcased the best of what comfortable luxury all-inclusive Mexico resorts can offer. Both resorts deliver unique and memorable experiences, each with its charm and elegance. Whether you’re drawn to the modern boho chic vibe of Atelier Playa Mujeres or the traditional Spanish hacienda style of Valentin Imperial Maya, you will find the perfect setting for an unforgettable luxury all-inclusive Mexico vacation.

At Sphera Travel, we specialize in designing luxury small-group vacations for empty nesters and retirees, offering curated experiences that cater to your interests and preferences. For example, Atelier Playa Mujeres is ideal for small groups interested in golf or art workshops. It is perfect for enthusiasts looking to indulge in their passions while enjoying the stunning surroundings. The resort’s world-class amenities and activities provide the ideal backdrop for an enriching and relaxing luxury all-inclusive Mexico getaway.

On the other hand, Valentin Imperial Maya is a beautiful choice for milestone groups, such as 50th birthdays or class reunions. Its warm and welcoming atmosphere, luxurious accommodations, and excellent dining options create the perfect environment for celebrating significant life events. The resort’s elegant design and vibrant community spaces foster a sense of connection and joy, making every moment a memorable luxury all-inclusive Mexico experience.

Let Sphera Travel help you craft the perfect luxury all-inclusive Mexico getaway. Whether you’re looking for an intimate escape, a celebratory trip, or a group adventure, we ensure every detail is tailored to your needs. Contact us today to start planning your dream luxury all-inclusive Mexico vacation to Atelier Playa Mujeres or Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya and experience the world of comfortable luxury travel with us.

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Sue and Andy Ball of Sphera Travel in Budapest

Sue & Andy Ball

Travel Experts | Grand Rapids, MI


Sphera Travel is a luxury travel design company founded in 2020.  We serve Empty Nesters and Retirees from all across the USA.


Dive into a world of refined luxury with Sphera Travel. Our specialty? Crafting unforgettable, tailor-made vacations for empty nesters. Embark on journeys full of enriching activities, celebrated milestones, and meaningful connections. Experience the world alongside like-minded individuals, friends, or family.